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Propeller model in Carrara5

Author: GKDantas

Tools Needed

  • Carrara5


This tutorial was made after some posts about how to model a propeller on forum.


Step 1: The basic structure

Open Carrara and start a new project


Insert a Vertex Object - you can drag the vertex object to the workspace too.


You will be redirected to the Vertex Modeler room. Choose the cone primitive.


Clique in the workspace to create the primitive and set the Object Definition to 4.


Move and rotate your view to a side view (or change the camera to a side view), and select the edges like in the picture below


Step 2: Adjusting the basic structure

Rotate again your view point (not the object!) and select the scale tool. This way we can see the yellow cube in the middle of the selection, it's the proportional scale.


Drag the yellow cube until you get the same scale that the edges below the selection. We do this to get the polygons parallel to the ground, so when we use the extrusion all new polygons will be parallel with the ground too. When using extrusion the new faces are created in a 90 degree angle with the selected polygon, or what is called “polygon normal”


Now select the edges above and scale to get a bullet like shape.


Step 3: Growing the blades - extrude

Select the four polygons around the object like the figure below. Is from where the propellers will grow.


Change your view to almost top and with the four polygons yet selected click in the Dynamic Extrusion tool


Create a first extrusion. Do not create others yet. A tip here is to click in a selected polygon to extrude the object, if you click out you will lost the selection.


Turn to an almost side view and use the stretch tool in the Z axis to define the blade height


Now back to a better view and use the Dynamic Extrusion tool to construct the others blades parts, I used 3 more extrusion. Remember: in 3D the less is more!


Step 4: Subdivision and rotate

Why less is more? Because we will use the subdivision to get the rounded look that the propellers need. Note that I used a subdivision level of 2 in the modeling option, this way I can work very quickly without get problems when moving or rotating the object. In the subdivision render option I used a level 4, so in the final render image I will get a more smoothed object. Don't use height values because the render can be very slow.


Now get a top view like and select a blade. Active the soft selection option, this way we can turn the blade smoothly. The default settings works great for me here.


I turned to a side view again here and selected the rotation tool. I set the Rotation Constraint to 30 degrees, so I can rotate all blades with the same angle only using the shift key when rotating. You can set the constrain angle to the value that you want here.


Do the same for all others blades and look like soft selection not only turn the blades but the center of the propeller too… it can save a lot of time in modeling.


Step 5: Shading

Now it's time to give it a surface or a shade domain. Select all objects and select New shading domain and give it a name. Always use a name that you can quickly associate with the part of the object.


Find a good shader and drag to the propeller. Set the Camera to a good looking angle.


Don't forget to use the Production Frame to better adjust your camera subject


Step 6: Rendering

You can use the corner handles from the Production Frame to adjust your camera size image, just click and drag one of these black points in the frame corners.


If you are not familiar with the render settings just load a preset (the little red box) and choose one that is best for you. Now hit render and enjoy your propeller.


I hope this help with understanding some procedures to model, shading and render in Carrara.